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1. US-Russia disarmament process needs support

2. De-nuclearisation in North-East Asia
 - PNND Korea and Japan       meeting
      - PNND/MPI meets       Japanese Foreign Minister
      -PNND member Arms       Control Person of the       Year? Vote now!

3. UN Secretary-General's five-point plan

4. Momentum building for a Nuclear Weapons Convention
- 410 Order of Canada       recipients call for NWC
      - International       Commission calls for NWC       prep work
      -UK Early Day Motion       supporting a NWC

5. Parliaments and the World Peace March
- US Congress resolution
      - Scottish parliament       welcomes the Peace       March

6. French high-level statement on nuclear disarmament

7. French Parliament adopts compensation legislation

8. Costa Rica legislator joins Global Council

9. Support PNND-- help us build membership and secure funding for programs


PNND Update 26
January 2010

Dear PNND members, friends and supporters,

We thank you for your involvement in PNND over the past year. PNND has had a very successful year as you will have noticed from our exciting PNND Updates. We invite you to help us make 2010 even more successful by undertaking some of the action ideas in this Update (especially in items 1, 2, 3 and 4), encouraging more parliamentarians to join PNND and helping us secure funding for our programs (see item 7 below). Please feel free to contact us at any of our offices around the world with any suggestions, questions, requests for PNND outreach materials or offers of support.

Our very best wishes for the new year.

- PNND Staff

Alyn Ware (Wellington, New Zealand), Rhianna Tyson Kreger (New York), Jim Wurst (New York), Kevin Davis (Washington), Henrik Salander (Stockholm), Xanthe Hall (Berlin), Hiro Umebayashi (Tokyo), Jean-Marie Collin (Paris), Nevin Ali Abdel Ghany El-Galy (Alexandria, Egypt), Mayra Gomez (Wellington/Los Angeles), Adam Nester (Philadelphia), Jonathan Granoff (Philadelphia), Sarah Webb (Philadelphia).

1. US-Russia disarmament process needs support – call for parliamentary letters


The US and Russia are currently negotiating a nuclear disarmament treaty that will reduce their nuclear stockpiles by about 25%. There were hopes that the agreement would be concluded by 5 December when the 1991 START Treaty expired. However, verification issues have pushed back the likely conclusion of the treaty until February 2010. The International Herald Tribune reports that “After President Obama and President Dmitri A. Medvedev sign the new pact, they plan to send negotiators back to the table to pursue a far more ambitious agreement tackling whole categories of nuclear weapons never before subject to international limits. In addition to further reducing deployed strategic warheads, the negotiations would try to empty at least some vaults now storing warheads in reserve. And the two sides would take aim at thousands of tactical nuclear bombs most vulnerable to theft or proliferation, some still located in Europe 20 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall.” (See Nearing Arms Pact, U.S. and Russia Look Ahead, IHT, December 17).

The negotiations may be tricky, but they are not the most difficult part. Pro-nuclear forces in both US and Russia threaten to limit, stall or even derail the process. Already in the US, the entire Republican caucus in the Senate has announced that they will not ratify any stockpile reduction treaty unless the President commits to modernizing the nuclear arsenal. (See Nuke modernization, Washington Times, December 17). Ratification of treaties requires 2/3 vote in the senate. The 40 Republican senators could thus block ratification of the forthcoming agreement, a move that would limit the ability of President Obama to conduct further disarmament negotiations. A key argument being used by Republican senators for maintenance of a robust nuclear arsenal is that the US requires such forces in order to ‘protect’ its allies.

In Russia, pro-nuclear forces in the military argue that Russia needs to rely more, not less, on nuclear weapons in order to offset the US and Western Europe superiority in conventional weapons and as a response to Ballistic Missile Defences which Russia believes undermines its nuclear deterrence capacity.

On 29 December Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said that US plans for a missile defense system were hindering talks on the new nuclear arms reduction treaty, that "In order to preserve balance... we need to develop offensive weapons systems," and that access to more information on US missile defense plans is linked to the achievement of a new nuclear treaty (Russia needs new arms to counter US shield: Putin, Reuters, 29 December).

Parliamentary action: Parliamentary letters from around the world supporting the US-Russian negotiations will be of immense value in Washington and Moscow. PNND’s sister program in Washington, the Bipartisan Security Group, is securing similar letters from US legislators, and can assist in getting your letters to the two presidents and to their key officials and congressional committees. For more information contact Kevin Davis (BSG Program Associate) or see Russian and US Disarmament Process Deserves Our Support

2. De-nuclearization in North-East Asia

         PNND Korea and Japan meeting

Speakers at PNND Japan-Korea meeting

Members of PNND Korea organized a meeting with PNND Japan at the Korean National Assembly on November 23rd to discuss denuclearization in Northeast Asia and the proposal for a Nuclear Weapon Free Zone in the region. Participants noted the difficulties of moving North Korea to unilaterally abandon its nuclear weapons program and rejoin the NPT. However, the proposal for a regional NWFZ was advanced as a possibility which might be more readily accepted by North Korea, as it would also include security assurances that nuclear weapons would not be used against states parties including North Korea.

In August 2008, PNND member Katsuya Okada released a draft NE Asia NWFZ Treaty on behalf of the Nuclear Disarmament MP Group of the Democratic Party of Japan (DPT). The election of the DPJ into government with Okada as Foreign Minister makes this an opportune time to explore the possibilities for negotiations of such a treaty.

Participants in the November 23rd meeting included legislators of four different parties of the Korean Assembly including the governing party, Mr. Hideo Hiraoka from the Democratic Party of Japan and key parliamentary consultants and support staff from Korea and Japan.  The  PNND Korea and Japan Sections are planning to hold a similar meeting next year in Japan.

(L-R): Hiromichi Umebayashi, Jonathan Granoff, Foreign Minister Okada, Kate Dewes, Ambassador Robert Grey

PNND/MPI meets Japanese Foreign Minister

A delegation of key officers from Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament and PNND’s partner organisation the Middle Powers Initiative met with Japanese Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada (also a member of PNND) on December 9 to discuss key developments in nuclear disarmament and the role of Japan. PNND/MPI was represented by Jonathan Granoff (United States), Robert Grey (United States), Hiro Umebayashi (Japan) and Kate Dewes (New Zealand). The delegation noted that President Obama needed support from the allied governments– including Japan – in order to advance his agenda for nuclear disarmament. Opposition forces within the United States claim that a robust US nuclear weapons capacity is required to protect US allies, and that if the US (and Russia) agree to deep cuts and a restricted role for their nuclear arsenals, allies like Japan might be tempted to go nuclear. Thus, support from allies for President Obama’s disarmament agenda could answer such opposition.

The delegation also discussed the proposal advanced by Mr Okada for a North-East Asian NWFZ. A number of PNND members, especially those in Japan and South Korea, in their opposition to North Korea’s nuclear weapons program, have supported the idea of a NE Asia NWFZ as a practical and feasible way to meet the security concerns of North Korea and other countries in the region, bring North Korea back into the NPT, and lower the role of nuclear weapons in security doctrines in the region. See Parliamentary Statement on Nuclear Testing.

         PNND member Arms Control Person of the Year? Vote now!

Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada

Katsuya Okada, PNND Member and now the Foreign Minister of Japan, is a nominee for the 2009 Arms Control Person of the Year for his call for states that possess nuclear weapons to adopt no first use policies and for the recognition that "[w]e do not necessarily need a nuclear umbrella against the nuclear threat of North Korea. I think conventional weapons are enough to deal with it.” See The Role of Nuclear Weapons: Japan, the U.S., and Sole Purpose

Prior to becoming Foreign Minister, Okada chaired the Democratic Party of Japan Nuclear Disarmament group which drafted a model treaty to establish a North-East Asian Nuclear Weapon-Free Zone. The proposal is now being seriously considered by parliamentarians in Japan and South Korea from across the political spectrum – and is likely to be included in the Six Party talks once they resume. Informal soundings by PNND members in Washington indicate that the US administration is more open to the proposal than previously. However, Okada is facing domestic resistance (including from his own foreign service) in advancing and implementing his nuclear disarmament proposals. Voting for Okada as Arms Control Person of the Year would support these initiatives and strengthen Okada’s capacity to deliver on them.

Action: Vote by 8 January at www.surveymonkey.com/s/2009personoftheyear.

3. UN Secretary-General’s five-point plan - Costa Rica hosts nuclear disarmament event with Ban Ki-moon

On 8 December, Costa Rican ambassador Jorge Urbina hosted an event for ambassadors to the United Nations on implementation of the UN Secretary-General’s five-point plan for nuclear disarmament. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon addressed the group of ‘friends of the five-point plan’ thanking governments and civil society for supporting the plan, and noting some of the areas in which progress has been made - including a renewed commitment by the leaders of the Russian Federation and United States; a breakthrough in the Conference on Disarmament; and the historic Security Council summit in September. Mr Ban noted the importance of the forthcoming 2010 NPT Review Conference and called on governments to agree at the conference to undertaking significant steps in order to save the regime and achieve the NPT goals. He noted that “In this regard, I encourage Member States to seriously consider the proposal by Costa Rica and Malaysia for a nuclear weapon convention.” Mr Ban also welcomed the fledgling “coalition of support for my five-point plan from governments and civil society worldwide.”

See: Secretary-General remarks at breakfast meeting on his Action Plan on Nuclear Disarmament and Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Parliamentarians and Ban Ki-moon's nuclear disarmament plan.

Suggested parliamentary action: Ask your government whether they have joined the group supporting the UN Secretary-General’s five-point plan for nuclear disarmament, and what other efforts they are taking to help implement the plan.

4. Momentum building for a Nuclear Weapons Convention

         410 Order of Canada recipients call for NWC

On 7 December, Canadians for a Nuclear Weapons Convention sent a letter to US President Obama congratulating him on winning the Nobel Peace Prize, and calling on him to implement the vision for a nuclear weapons-free world by leading negotiations to achieve a Nuclear Weapons Convention. The letter included a statement endorsed by 410 recipients of the Order of Canada, calling on all United Nations members to join negotiations for a Nuclear Weapons Convention as recommended by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in his five point plan for nuclear disarmament. The Order of Canada is the country’s highest civilian honour and is the centerpiece of Canada’s honours system. It recognizes a lifetime of outstanding achievement, dedication to the community and service to the nation.

Recipients who endorsed the NWC statement include Douglas Roche, former Senator and Chairman Emeritus of the Middle Powers Initiative; Lincoln Alexander, former Lieut. Governor of Ontario; Margaret Atwood, award winning author; Lloyd Axworthy,  former Foreign Minister; William Barton, former Canadian Ambassador to the United Nation; Michel Bastarache, former Judge of the Supreme Court of Canada; Allan Blakeney, Former Premier of Saskatchewan; Saul Cherniack, former Premier of Manitoba; Bruce Cockburn, award-winning musician & songwriter; Senator Roméo Dallaire, former Commander of the UN Forces in Rwanda; Barnett Danson, Former Minister of National Defence; Paterson Ferns, former Director of Canadian Broadcasting Corporation Films & TV; Henry Jackman, former Lieut. Governor of Ontario; Flora MacDonald, Former Minister of External Affairs; James McCambly, Founding President of the  Canadian Federation of Labour; Pearl McGonigal, Former Lieut. Governor of Manitoba; Roy McMurtry, former Chief Justice of Ontario; Howard Pawley, Former Premier of Manitoba; Edward Roberts, former Lieut. Governor of Newfoundland & Labrador; John Turner, former Prime Minister of Canada; and David Suzuki,  Environmentalist and host of TV series The Nature of Things.

The statement endorsing a Nuclear Weapons Convention was also presented to Canadian Prime Minister the Right Honourable Stephen Harper by Mr. Michael Ignatieff, Leader of the Opposition; Hon. Gilles Duceppe, Leader of Bloc Québécois; and Hon. Jack Layton, Leader, New Democratic Party of Canada. See Order of Canada Recipients Demand Worldwide Ban on Nuclear Weapons, by Jeff Davis, The Embassy, 26 August 2009

         International Commission calls for NWC prep work

On 15 December the International Commission on Nuclear Nonproliferation and Disarmament released its final report “Eliminating Nuclear Threats: A Practical Agenda for Global Policymakers”. The Commission is highly respected due to its composition which includes former foreign and defense ministers of nuclear weapon States and their allies, most of whom have been, or still are, advocates of nuclear deterrence. The report thus puts forward a process for achieving nuclear disarmament while still addressing the security concerns that give rise to current nuclear weapons policies. Key points of the report include:

Consensus action. The 2010 NPT Review Conference should agree on a 20-point statement, “A New International Consensus for Action on Nuclear Disarmament”, updating and extending the “Thirteen Practical Steps” agreed in 2000;

  • Numbers. No later than 2025 U.S. and Russian arsenals should be reduced to a total of 500 nuclear warheads each;
  • Doctrine. Pending the ultimate elimination of nuclear weapons, every nuclear-armed state should make as soon as possible, and no later than 2025, an unequivocal “no first use” declaration;
  • Doctrine initial step. Each such state – and in particular the U.S. in its Nuclear Posture Review – should at the very least accept the principle that the “sole purpose” of possessing nuclear weapons is to deter others from using such weapons against that state or its allies;
  • Force Deployment and Alert Status. The decision-making fuse for the launch of any nuclear weapons must be lengthened, and weapons taken off launch-on-warning alert as soon as possible;
  • Nuclear Weapons Convention. Work should commence now, supported by interested governments, on further refining and developing the concepts in the model convention now in circulation, making its provisions as workable and realistic as possible, with the objective of having a fully-worked through draft available to inform and guide multilateral disarmament negotiations as they gain momentum .

The Commission devoted a large section to discussing the proposed Nuclear Weapons Convention, the support that is building for it, the necessity of such an all-embracing framework for the elimination of nuclear weapons, the utility of the Model Nuclear Weapons Convention as a guide to negotiations, and the timing of such negotiations. The Commission noted that not all NWS and their allies are yet supportive of a nuclear weapons convention – and so negotiations involving them might not be feasible until further down the disarmament path. However, the Commission also noted that a like-minded negotiating process could be helpful in building political momentum, as was done in the Landmines and Cluster Munitions Conventions. The Commission also noted that considerable preparatory work could be done by governments and non-governmental organizations on elements of a Nuclear Weapons Convention prior to the commencement of actual negotiations. (See ICNND Report section 20 paragraphs 31 – 47).

Parliamentary action idea: Submit the ICNND Report to parliament (possibly as part of a parliamentary debate on the NPT Review Conference) and call for government action on key items including on the Nuclear Weapons Convention.

        UK Early Day Motion on the NPT and a Nuclear Weapons Convention

Jeremy Corbyn, MP

On 19 November, PNND Council Member Jeremy Corbyn submitted Early Day Motion 144 to the UK Parliament, supported by 103 Members of Parliament, which: “notes the forthcoming nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference in May 2010 and the opportunities it presents for progress on nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation; further notes growing international support for negotiation of a Nuclear Weapons Convention to outlaw all nuclear weapons; and calls on the Government to give full support to negotiating a Nuclear Weapons Convention and to make this position absolutely clear at the NPT Review Conference.”

Suggested parliamentary action: Call for a parliamentary debate on the forthcoming NPT Review Conference, and adoption of a parliamentary resolution calling on the NPT to agree to commence inter-governmental work on a Nuclear Weapons Convention.

5. Parliaments and the World Peace March

Congressman John Lewis

US Congress resolution

On 3 December US Rep John Lewis submitted a resolution to the US Congress supporting the World March for Peace and Nonviolence.  Rep Lewis, a leader with Martin Kuther King Jr of the historic Selma to Montgomery marches that led to passage of the Voting Rights Act in 1965, was supported by US Representatives Barbara Lee, Bobby Rush, Donald Payne, and Charles Rangel. It coincided with the visit to Washington by the World Peace March and meetings at the US Congress including with Dennis Kucinich (PNND UN Representative).  For more information see World Peace March in Washington.

Scottish parliament welcomes the Peace March


PNND members Alexander Mora Mora and Bill Kidd with the Speaker of the Scottish Parliament

The World March for Peace and nonviolence started in New Zealand on 2 October 2009 and has been travelling around the world calling for the abolition of nuclear weapons, an end to war, and the promotion of nonviolence at all levels of society. On 17 November, the Scottish Parliament welcomed Costa Rican parliamentarian Alexander Mora Mora, a representative of the World March, in a ceremony organized by PNND Global Council member Bill Kidd MSP and which included a presentation of the Nuclear Abolition Flame to the Scottish Parliament. The event occurred during the time of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, and followed a PNND side-event on NATO and nuclear weapons policies. Bill Kidd used the occasion to lodge a resolution to the Scottish Parliament endorsing the nonviolence aims of the World Peace March. Kidd noted that “The visit to the Scottish Parliament – a Parliament which opposes the renewal of the UK’s nuclear weapons - as NATO's Parliamentary Assembly meets in Edinburgh, is a well timed reminder of Scotland’s continued opposition to nuclear weapons.” The resolution was debated and adopted on Human Rights Day – 10 December. See: Peace Torch Welcomed to Scottish Parliament.

6. French high-level statement on nuclear disarmament

On 14 October four French former high-level politicians and military officials published a statement in Le Monde, entitled Global Nuclear Disarmament, the only means to prevent uncontrolled proliferation . The statement by former prime ministers Michel Rocard (Socialist) and Alain Juppé (the presidential party UMP), former Defense Minister Alain Richard and former General Air-Corps Norlain Bernard (head of the military cabinet of President Jacques Chirac), argues that the world has changed since the development of nuclear weapons as a key deterrent force, and that now nuclear weapons cannot address the security needs of countries. The four thus call on the NWS to engage in a process leading to the structured elimination of nuclear weapons, and that the three de facto nuclear powers must be associated with this process. They argue that the NPT has lost its capacity to prevent proliferation, and that only a global disarmament process will enable the achievement of the NPT goals.

  7. French Parliament adopts nuclear compensation legislation

On 22 December the French parliament adopted legislation authorizing the payment of compensation to victims of nuclear tests France carried out in Algeria and French Polynesia between 1960 and 1996. Under the provisions of the bill the new compensation scheme will apply to former soldiers and civilians who worked at the test sites and who subsequently developed cancers and other illnesses from exposure to radiation.


Moruroa explosion


The legislation comes after years of campaigning by the Association of the Veterans of the Nuclear Tests  (AVEN) supported by the Center of Documentation and of Research on Peace and the Conflicts, Mouvement de la Paix and parliamentarians from the Green, Communist and Socialist Parties. They had submitted draft legislation for comprehensive compensation for all people affected by the nuclear tests. However, the final legislation was a watered-down version submitted by Defense Minister Hervé Morin on behalf of the governing UMP party. It establishes a special compensation committee which will examine complaints on a case-by-case basis to determine whether the plaintiffs’ symptoms are indeed related to the 18 ailments identified by the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation.

While welcoming the legislation as a good step forward, AVEN and their supporters believe that the commission established to oversee the compensation claims is unbalanced (with 7 of the 9 members coming from government departments), and that the range of illnesses is too narrow. In comparison United States law regarding nuclear tests in the Marshall Islands allows for compensation for 29 ailments.

PNND members , including former Senator Helene Luc, played a key role in moving the government to agree to compensating nuclear-test victims, and also in lobbying the government to improve its original compensation proposal. The government had proposed that claimants would have to prove that their ailments were caused by the nuclear testing, even if they were amongst the 18 listed. Pressure by opposition parliamentarians, including Maxime Gremetz (Communist) Jean-Patrick Gille (Socialist) and François de Rugy (Green), succeeded in the adoption of an approach similar to that of the US, providing for compensation unless it is proven that the ailment is definitely not caused by the nuclear tests.

Note: PNND Update 27 will cover the issue of the British nuclear tests in the Pacific. Veterans and populations affected by these tests are still struggling to get the UK government to accept their responsibility and provide compensation for ailments resulting from the tests.

For background see:


Edine von Herold Duarte with Costa Rica President Oscar Arias

8. Costa Rica legislator joins Global Council

PNND welcomes Edine von Herold Duarte to its Global Council. Edine, a legislator in the Costa Rican Assembly, is a doctor of medicine who has been active in health and disarmament issues. She has submitted a number of bills which have been adopted by the Costa Rican legislature including one to make the assembly a smoke-free environment and one to prohibit Depleted Uranium weapons. Edine works closely with Costa Rican President Oscar Arias. Recently she secured his support for the World March for Peace and Nonviolence and facilitated a strategy meeting between PNND and the President on promotion of the Nuclear Weapons Convention at the United Nations, NPT Review Conference and amongst like-minded States in support of the UN Secretary-General’s five-point plan for nuclear disarmament. Edine also organized a recent meeting of Mayors for Peace in San Jose which resulted in an additional 40 mayors joining in support for the campaign for a Nuclear Weapons Convention.

9. Support PNND – help us build membership and secure funding for programs

PNND currently has over 700 parliamentary members in 75 countries and is led by a Global Council of parliamentarians from key countries including Australia, Belgium, Denmark, Canada, Costa Rica, France, Germany, India, Israel, Italy, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, Russia, Scotland, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland, Tanzania, United Kingdom, United States and Zimbabwe. This is a good achievement for a low-budget network (annual budget about $125,000) that is in its first decade of existence. However, we could be much more effective with increased membership and funding. Please help us recruit more parliamentary members in your country. Contact us for PNND brochures and other outreach material. Please help us raise funds by recommending us to potential donors, prizes and foundations. We are registered in the United States as a tax-deductible educational charity (501 c 3). Financial contributions from Canadian and US supporters are tax deductible. See here for more information.